BY EVAN TATE (@t8cattleco)
Over the last couple of days, I’ve been traveling to other parts of the country visiting with fellow cattlemen. One thought that I’ve had as of late is how complacent we have become with our own “understanding” or more likely “perception” of the whole industry. Obviously, when I analyze my involvement, my operation suddenly becomes the axis in which all other sectors of the beef chain should turn on.
For example, the cow/calf operator may have the mindset that “those feedyards” would die if it weren’t for the calves I produce every year. Flip the coin, and feeders typically think they are providing a marketing service to the cow/calf sector to keep them in business. How did our industry become segregated? This auto-toxic mindset then leads to being all about the money. “They don’t pay me enough to vaccinate my calves” and “I’m not paying them more for calves that aren’t vaccinated” and the list of complaints goes on and on in a cyclic fashion. Its almost like we are trying to put each other out of business by our actions, yet we will all be together at the NCBA convention talking about how our industry needs unification! Excuse me if I’m the only one perplexed by this.
If you can persist through this a little longer, let me provide a thought. How about we all get out of our normal routines every so often and go learn about other sectors of the cattle business. If I sit on the ranch 24/7/365 – I will have no clue what I need to do better, or how my actions – or – reactions affect others in the industry. Feeders, get out of the yard and spend a day with a small cow/calf operator. Packers, get the heck out of the plant and visit your supply chain more often than sitting there making demands—try to understand the ways/ideas/methods of other sectors. Consumers, go learn where your food ACTUALLY comes from and study about it before you complain of antibiotics! Im sure at least one person reading this will lay down the excuse – “I don’t have enough time” – I call crap!!! If you truly want to participate in this business and provide opportunities for future generations, you will make time!! It’s time we quit butting heads and trying to take money out of each other’s pockets for a short term monetary gain and work to provide a mutually sustainable model not just talk about it!
There is no doubt in my mind, someone has something to add. Please, bring it for the good of our industry!